The Pocahontas Coun-ty Commission voted August 18 to hire Reta Griffith to serve as Director of the Day Report Center. Griffith was recommended by the Community Criminal Justice Board, but the process was not without some controversy.
The board eliminated two of the three applicants from consideration since one did not submit their application on time, while another, the current Acting Director, was at the Criminal Justice Board’s meeting where the applicants were to be interviewed, but for some reason not understood by the board, left the building before her interview.
The board interviewed Griffith, found her to be qualified and recommended that the commission hire her.
The commission then turned to an issue which was tabled last meeting, and that was the request from Deputy Joshua Vaughan that the commission increase the hours from 24 to 36 per week for their part-time employee at the animal shelter.
Vaughan explained that the employee needs to hold two jobs to make ends meet, and conflicts between her two jobs can, at times, prevent her from working when she is needed at the shelter. He said that this could potentially prevent full-time shelter employees from taking vacation time because there would be no one to care for the animals.
The commissioners discussed this request and were hesitant to increase the hours of a part-time employee above 1,039 hours a year, since doing so would automatically trigger retirement benefits for part-time employees and this employee had been hired without benefits. They agreed that they would have to re-advertise the job to increase the hours of the job.
They approved a motion to advertise for a substitute employee who would work “as needed” at the animal shelter not to exceed 1,039 hours a year at $12 per hour, without benefits. The commission pointed out that since this would be a “call-in” position, several people could be hired and called in as needed for coverage.
During a discussion about the status of their request to DirectTV and Dish Network to include local West Virginia channels in their satellite TV packages, commission president David McLaughlin said they still have not received a reply from DirectTV, however Dish Network replied, claiming their equipment is not capable of re-directing the satellite broadcasts from those local stations to this part of West Virginia.
The commission expressed skepticism of this explanation, and commissioner Walt Helmick said he would contact people he knows on the West Virginia Public Service Commission to have them investigate this claim by Dish Network.
In addition, the commission approved a budget revision and resolution in the amount of $6,135 for Pocahontas Memorial Hospital (PMH.) Sue Helton explained this was an insurance check received for an accident, which needs to be put into a county budget fund so that the commission can write a check to PMH.